Corporate Earnings Drive Dow into Over Drive

The week ended on a high note with the Dow (NYSE:DIA) up 2.3% based on strong corporate earnings reports, better economic news, and hope that European nations will make progress toward improving their debt situation. The Dow (NYSE:DIA) ended up 267.01 points to 11,808.79. This was the fourth straight week of growth, which hasn’t happened since January. Before this week’s increases, the Dow was still down for the year, but it is now up 2%.

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McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), and Harman International Industries (NYSE:HAR) all surpassed analyst expectations with their third quarter earnings reports which gave a needed boost to the Dow (NYSE:DIA). These promising corporate results were in line with hope that the US economy is headed in the right direction as unemployment fell in 25 US states and was unchanged in 11, which is great improvement from the previous month in which unemployment was up in 26. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits also decreased and inflation remains low.

The US stock market has risen sharply several times this month in response to economic news in Europe. Many hope that a debt crisis deal will be reached in time for a summit scheduled for Wednesday. German (NYSE:EWG), French (NYSE:EWQ), and Italian (NYSE:EWI) markets also rose with Friday’s close.

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